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International Myeloma Foundation’s Research Division Issues New Guidelines for Early Diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma
The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) – improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure – today announced that the organization’s research division, the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), has issued new criteria for diagnosing multiple myeloma. Myeloma is a cancer of cells in the bone marrow that affects the immune system and can damage bone.

Dr. Brian Durie, Chairman of the International Myeloma Foundation, Honored by Mayo Clinic With Distinguished Alumni Award
The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) – improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure – congratulates its Chairman and Co-Founder Brian G.M. Durie, MD, on being honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from Mayo Clinic. Dr. Durie, who completed residencies and fellowships at Mayo Clinic, was honored at a ceremony in Rochester, MN on October 20, 2014 for his “exceptional contributions” to the field of myeloma.

ACA Open Enrollment 2014 Informational Webinar
Please join the IMF on November 18th at 7:00 PM EST for our next webinar, Health Reform and You: Navigating the Next Open Enrollment Period for Private Health Insurance. A panel of experts from advocacy organizations and policy groups will be present to discuss what cancer patients need to know now about the health insurance world in 2015. Our speakers will provide a broad overview of national policies and provide resources to connect you with what’s going on in your state. We will also discuss how to evaluate plans to support your family’s needs. We encourage all patients and family members with an interest in health care reform to attend, particularly those who are uninsured or under-insured or have an interest in purchasing individual or small group health plans through the marketplaces

Living Well with Myeloma Teleconference: Management of Bone Disease
The IMF’s popular Living Well with Myeloma Teleconference series returns on Thursday, November 13th with “Management of Bone Disease.” The discussion and Q&A will be led by IMWG member Matthew Drake, MD, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. CLICK HERE to register for the free teleconference, which will be held on Thursday, November 13th at 7 pm ET/ 4 pm PT.

Patient Blog: Serving on an Institutional Review Board
Patient blogger Cindy Chmielewski shares a blog post detailing her involvement as a patient representative on an institutional review board (IRB). In this role, Cindy is responsible for reviewing clinical research proposals and, with the rest of the board, making sure the rights of the people participating in the clinical research are protected. Although Cindy was nervous before her first IRB meeting, she writes, “Sitting at the table I felt prepared. I knew the language they were speaking thanks to all the education the IMF has given me.”

Report: IMF Patient & Family Seminar in Slovakia
The IMF’s Director of Europe and the Middle East, Nadia Elkebir, reports on a successful Patient & Family Seminar held this month in Slovakia in conjunction with Slovak Myeloma Society (SMS) & Patient Club. The seminar welcomed 130 patients and family members, and featured presentations from physicians and representatives of myeloma associations throughout Central Europe. In her blog post, Nadia thanks SMS representative Mr. Hrianka Miroslav (at right with his wife, Milada) for his key role in organizing the meeting

Are We Starting to Cure Myeloma?
A paper recently published in the medical journal Blood claims its authors are “Curing myeloma at last: defining criteria and providing the evidence,” as the paper’s title states. In his blog this week, IMF Chairman Dr. Brian Durie cautions that this is a bold statement. The paper provides a statistical model to predict myeloma patients’ outcomes. Dr. Durie writes, “Achieving and documenting true cure still demands follow-up of individual patients and cannot be predicted by a computer model.”

New IMF Videos: The Role of Freelite and Hevylite Assays
In two new videos, International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) member Saad Z. Usmani, MD, of Levine Cancer Institute/Carolinas Healthcare System, describes the role of Freelite and Hevylite assays in monitoring multiple myeloma. These tests that quantify free light chains and heavy chain and light chain pairs provide important measurements that track myeloma response and progression.

Cancer Drug Costs: Is the System Broken?
A segment last Sunday on the CBS program “60 Minutes” focused on the high cost of cancer drugs. It drew wide attention to an issue that has been the subject of conversation among patients, doctors, and policymakers over the last year. In his blog this week, IMF Chairman Dr. Brian Durie calls for an open dialogue among all parties concerned about high costs, and stresses that we need everyone at the table. The ongoing collaboration within the IMWG is a template for success.

Should Myeloma Patients Get a Flu Shot?
The beginning of fall also signals the beginning of flu season, so now is the time to get your flu vaccine. The IMF recommends annual flu shots for all myeloma patients. CLICK HERE for specific recommendations for patients who have undergone a stem cell transplant and those who may benefit from a high-dose flu vaccine. As always, we recommend you discuss your individual situation with your doctor.

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